Freelance Artist Concept Art, 3D Models, Animation, World Building & Music
On This page are a selection of videos that have been produced over the last decade. Some are for external clients, some are promoting the music that accompanies them, and some are for fun. the first four videos are the most recent. Having all been produced at speed during the lockdown period. They have a strong steampunk flavour, and a consistent alternative world history. They are set in an world where Napoleon won at the battle of Waterloo .The videos were created to promote the music soundtracks, which are available on the Unity asset store, and elsewhere, for use in RPG or strategy games, This is part of an ongoing project which should eventually see a whole suite including dungeon atmospheres, tavern music and battle music amongst others. The videos were created in Blender 2.8 onwards using the new Eevee realtime render engine. All the modelling rigging and animation which includes the use of motion capture was done by me. Each individual movie took between 8 days and 2 weeks to produce.
Manfred Von Richthofen, whilst on leave from the Swiss Fleet air arm, takes part in a speed trial, using his personal speedboat. One of the main exercises in this video was to produce a convincing boat wake. Blender has a very useful modifier called dynamic paint, which models the displacement of a hull moving through water very accurately and with minimal fuss. Changing the colour of the water to simulate underwater bubbles was slightly more complex, requiring an image sequence to be created, that was then mapped onto the water plane, frame by frame. The most difficult part was producing the spray. This was done by attaching a particle system to the blades of each paddle wheel, and one to the bow. The particle used was a plane with a spray texture on a transparent background. It took some finessing, but I was pretty happy with the result.
You may have heard the Swiss railways are actually rather good. This also proves to be the case in this alternate reality, The monorail in this is is produced by using a combination of a curve and array modifier, this also includes the tower gantries. The locomotive and carriages are then set to follow the curve as separate objects, and the carriages are then parented each to the previous, (Just like a real train). This enables the train to go round bends. The forests are made with a particle system using weight paint to position the trees. These are instances of a few simple sprites, which are then constrained to face the camera. In some scenes there are over 10,000 trees, but using the Eevee render engine, and a gtx1660 Graphics card, (decent but not exactly top of the range). Render time at 1080p is still typically 5-6 seconds per frame.
A horseman sees a strange vehicle in the sky, and races to the rescue of the citadel. The flying machine in this originally appeared in a Blenderguru competition entry in 2015 At the time someone asked wistfully if I could animate it. Unfortunately rendertimes proved prohibitive Since then the technology has moved on and I have an improved understanding of model optimisation. So now this strange aircraft complete with interior, is the star of the show. Additionally the town walls that appear in the movie, are a complete tileset, snap to grid, including interiors. Which will soon be available in various asset stores.
A strange new flying machine, has recently been spotted over a town in france. Who is the Captain? Here is a literal interpretation of the phrase flying boat. This originally appeared in a video made for an American client who wanted to combine virtual reality with a real roller coaster ride.(See a roller coaster ride with a difference). The sails were animated using shape keys, and the city was created with a particle system and 10 base model houses. these later appeared in a more detailed form in the Citadel.
A short extract from an ongoing video project entitled “Beneath a Hunters Moon” About a young man and his dragon (Which is really a horse). This is a continuing work in progress. The human figures in this (when not green screened), are made using the Make Human programme which I find a considerable time Saver, however they have custom rigs which are more suitable for the motion capture files that I'm using currently. All the animals however including the horses, deer and Dragon are modelled by myself, rigged by myself, and use my own animations.
A music video set in a dystopian near future. An authoritarian regime has taken over, and everyone is under surveillance. (A nod and a wink to Blade Runner). This video was made when Blender 2.8 was in the alpha stage of development. Having said that it was remarkably stable. (more so than 3ds max on a good day). The most annoying element was that the developers would turn stuff off in the daily builds, resulting in features disappearing when you needed them. (they would usually come back later in an improved form). That is the downside of using software that was still under development. On the upside was the Eevee render engine, which was so much faster than the cycles renderer (Otherwise I wouldn’t have made this video at all). Because of the uncertainties associated with certain aspects of the progam, I used the older version of Blender 2.79 to produce the rain effects, and then composited it in Blackmagic Fusion, which I also used for the greenscreen elements. For the record I also wrote the song and played all the instruments.
A tour of the solar system, which includes The Flying Dutchman, and a gig in an O’Neills cylinder. This was the first time that I used Blender seriously, and I was learning as I went along. Again I will stress that the Models are all my own, with no third party input. And the same applies to 80 percent of the Textures. I will freely admit to downloading quite a few pictures from NASA. Also of interest. I needed some long distance greenscreen shots , but didn’t have the facilities, or equipment, so I used the Lacrosse field at a local school (It was green after all). It worked remarkably well. As a final note, The keyboards in the video are accurate models of several synths that I would like to own, the only one that is real is the one I am playing. The guitar amps are also all 3d models.
Three Horsemen Of Segarra (Including The Rochdale Coconut Dance) . The castle was constructed entirely for this video using Blender 2.8, which by this time had reached the production stage. Of particular interest is the way the greenscreen was incorporated. The live video (once the alpha channel was added), was used as the material on a flat plane, which then had a constraint added to always face the camera. Firstly it enables you to move the camera in the shot, without the use of camera tracking, and secondly the plane is affected by the light, and will cast shadows, which makes it appear much more “in the scene” so to speak. My aim in this video was to increase the speed of the workflow, so that I could produce music videos with less time and effort. The modelling for this took about 2 weeks, and the video itself about 4 days. The music is from my most recent album.
This is the video of the making of "The Tower Of the Stars", my entry for a fantasy art competition. The video is a breakdown of how I constructed this picture, and describes my workflow.
Back in the mists of time, an animated entry for a Sci-Fi competition. The competition brief was that the video had to tell a story, and come in at under a minute. My wife and son helped in providing the voiceovers, and the music was a single take, played along to the track because I was running out of time as the deadline approached.
This is a recent short video advertising a dungeon music pack. The Tileset is a work in progress, it began as a speed project. The components snap to grid, so a dungeon can be produced very quickly. The sections in this video were produced from scratch in 2 days. But I have continued to work on it making extensive tileset that can be used in Unity, and UE4. When finished it will be available for sale generally.
A concept video for a new kind of rollercoaster ride This was an interesting and challenging project. My client was an American, who wanted to promote a design for an enclosed rollercoaster ride in which the rider would be able to choose the style of ride that they would experience. The twists and turns of the video would exactly match the movement of the rollercoaster to give an impression being thrown around. In order to facilitate this I made four separate videos, in which the camera followed the same path. The first was of the rollercoaster itself, which provided the base reference. Then the other three, a dogfight, a space battle, and a weird wind powered flying machine. Modeling and animation was done using Blender 2.74 (it was a while ago), and the final video was edited in Sony Vegas. I liaised with the client throughout via skype. The project took about 2 months, and as I recall he was pretty happy with the result.
A video promoting some RPG exploration music The video was made in 2 days using blender 2.82 and the Eevee render engine. the ship model is taken from another project, and is very roughly based on the 17th century Swedish warship the Vasa. The materials have all been changed to use the current PBR shaders in Eevee, and I have added quite a lot of extra detail. The Captain's cabin including the astrolabe was built from scratch and took about 4 hours.